|Array Structure||Fixed: Ground Mount|
Polycrystalline silicon array, fixed ground-mount.
The silicon crystals that form polycrystalline panels are manufactured through a different process to monocrystalline technologies. The efficiency of crystalline panels continues to increase, as the comparison of recent-generation polycrystalline panels to earlier models shows.
These WINAICO panels offer a positive tolerance of +5% on the rated output. This means the panel may produce slightly more than the rated 240 Watts under test conditions, but not less. The variation in panel output is important because when panels are connected in series their output is limited to the output of the lowest connected panel.
WINAICO panels have also been made with materials that reduce the amount of leakage current – small currents that flow from the photovoltaic cell through the mounting materials – that can reduce the panel’s output over its lifetime.
This array is installed on ground mounted concrete ballasted Schletter array frame.
The above technology description has been supplied by the manufacturer. The Desert Knowledge Australia Solar Centre is pleased to provide a platform for information sharing while not endorsing specific claims made about technologies installed at the site.
|Number Of Panels||22|
|Array Area||36.5 m²|
|Type Of Tracker||N/A|
|Inverter Size / Type||6kW, SMA SMC 6000A|
|Installation Completed||Fri, 26 Oct 2012|
|Array Tilt/Azimuth||Tilt = 20, Azi = 0 (Solar North)|
Notes on the Data
System Disconnection for Cabling Works
All arrays at the Solar Centre were disconnected from approximately 2.00pm to 3.00pm on Monday, 9 July 2018 in preparation for the cable between the main switchboard and distribution board being upgraded. Array sites #23-38 remained disconnected while the main feeder cable to these sites was replaced in subsequent days, but all systems were re-connected by early afternoon on Thursday, 12 July 2018.
System Outage at Australia Day Long Weekend
A breaker tripped at around 12.30pm on Friday, 26 January, likely due to high generation levels reached at this peak time on this high irradiance day. Connection was restored after the Australia Day long weekend at around 11.30am on Monday, 29 January but shortly tripped again.
UPDATE 26-02-2018. The cause of this reoccurring issue has been identified and will be rectified. The solution requires the upgrading of a key distribution cable. This should be completed in the coming months.
Connection Restored After Christmas/NY Period
Arrays have been re-connected following the outage that disconnected multiple sites from Christmas day 2017. The outage is believed to have been triggered by the tripping of two circuit breakers in separate distribution boards, making the diagnosis initially elusive. The ability of the common circuit shared by these arrays to keep abreast with increasingly high current demands as new arrays are installed and generation conditions are high is presently being addressed. For the same reason, intermittent outages persisted in the summer of early 2018.
System Outage at Christmas/NY Period
A system outage was caused by a circuit breaker trip at approximately 2pm on a high generation day shortly after installation of a new array at the DKA Solar Centre. The outage commenced on 25 December continuing into the new year and is being addressed.
System Outage for New Array Connection
Sites 23 through to 37 experienced an outage today from 11:10 to 11:50. The outage was due to the local distribution board being temporarily being taken offline to allow for the connection of a new PV system.
Monitoring Interruption for UPS Battery Replacement
The disconnection and re-connection of the solar arrays and weather station equipment while a new site connection was being established prompted the already flattening UPS batteries which power the site’s energy meters to fail and require immediate replacement. Data recording was affected from approximately 2.30pm ACST, Monday 10 July to 4.00pm, Wednesday 12 July.
Affects weather data for DKASC, Alice Springs
Partial System Outage
One of the major switchboards at the DKASC lost power yesterday 01/12/2016 at ~11:00 am. This isolated and shutdown array sites 23 through to 37 inclusive. The switchboard was re-energised at ~16:30 today (02/12/2016) and is again operating normally. Data for this period for these sites is lost.
Site 34: Temporary Shutdown
Site 34 was temporarily shutdown on the 11th May 2016 from ~ 10:00 am to 6:00 pm. This was to de-energize the underground cable feeding the site to allow for safe trenching and augering work on neighbouring sites.
System Outage - Sites 4, 5, 17, 20, 22, 34 and 35
On the 5th June 2015, A Friday before a long weekend, seven individual PV systems at the DKASC were switched off by unknown persons and for unknown reasons. The outage was not noted until the following Tuesday when O&M staff returned to work and found the main circuit breakers for sites 4, 5, 17, 20, 22, 34 & 35. turned off. These systems were all turned back on again on the 9th March when the problem was detected.
Site 34: System Fault
In late June 2013 an issue was detected with Site 34 the Winaico system. For much of the month of June the Winaico system inverter was shutting itself on and off intermittently. After much investigation the problem was sourced to a loose neutral wire in one the DKASC switchboards which was causing an intermittent floating neutral and a subsequent voltage rise on the phase that the Winaico system is connected to. Other systems at the DKASC were also effected by this probelm but to a much lesser extent. These included all sites 23-39. The problem is now resolved and all data from 3rd July 2013 can be considered accurate. The system data for the Winaico system for June 2013 is not representative of the true performance of the Winaico system.
> Answer to Spotlight Question
Onsite at the DKA Solar Centre in Alice Springs are a series of quiz-like Spotlight Questions at each array. Visit the centre and scan the QR code at each sign to test your knowledge – and check your answer here!
Q: Which parts of the system should you check when you trouble-shoot a performance problem? What can you look out for?
A: Depending on how the performance problem was first detected and the suspected cause, a number of physical, visual and online investigations can be made to understand the issue. Remote monitoring systems can record historical characteristics such as power, voltage and frequency outputs (these remote portals may be linked to the inverter or installed as an independent data logger). Qualified personnel may also perform physical/electrical inspections such as checking for degraded hardware, corrosion, water ingress or loose connections, at both the array and the switchboard level. Visual inspections may consider the module surface, array structure and surrounding area including nearby trees and shade-inducing structures, while thermographic cameras can be used to detect hot spots or anomalous temperatures on the module surface or other parts. Inverter settings, grid conditions, recent weather patterns and other contextual factors may also be considered to form a holistic picture of the PV array's circumstances.